Academy of Excellence – Saturday 16 January

Top students are being encouraged to aim high at the new Academy of Excellence.Academy of excellence 4 (Small)

It is hoped our new Academy of Excellence will enable state school students who might never have dreamed of going to universities such as Oxford or Cambridge to set their sights on higher ambitions.  Introduced and managed by Assistant Head Mr Walklate our new Academy of Excellence is designed to “increase aspirations and enable our best students to achieve the very best grades.”

The project has started with 34 high achievers from a year group of 140, being invited to attend six monthly two hour Saturday morning sessions to improve their English, Maths and Science skills and develop more confident examination technique.

This Saturday the classes were examining higher order logic skills in Maths; in English students analysed the lyrical poetry of William Blake that could be part of an unseen poetry section on the GCSE Literature paper and in Science they were examining different molecular structures and their properties.

This term our students will be heading off to Somerville College in Oxford to meet College dons, talk to students about their courses and see what life is like at one of the world’s leading academic institutions. There are also partnerships with Keele, Harper Adams and Staffordshire universities with work supported by their partner school St. Joseph’s College and by Newcastle under Lyme High School.

The drive for excellence is also being developed at lower age levels with those recognised with high attainment when they come to the school being offered project work above and beyond the curriculum with courses such as Criminology, Psychology, Archaeology and Latin, currently being developed in liaison with specialist schools in the city and beyond.

The aim is to challenge, stretch and stimulate these eager young minds as soon as they walk through the door and instil a love of learning where it is cool to be clever.

Head boy Ishaac Hassan, who wants to become a corporate lawyer, said: “I don’t mind coming into school for extra lessons at all; in fact the opposite is true; I’d come in on Sundays too if I thought it could help me get better grades.”

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